The Second Disc

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Archive for August 17th, 2011

Ride That Train: Johnny Cash “Bootleg III” Takes the Live Route

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“Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day/And tell the world that everything’s okay.  But I’ll try to carry a little darkness on my back/Till things are brighter, I’m the Man in Black.”

And though Johnny Cash appeared as that Man in Black, immortalized in his song, he was in reality a man of many colors.  His music reflected a crucial empathy that guided his career as he embraced the various strains of America itself, both its people and its music.  Records preserve Cash walking with superstars and prisoners, each one just a man to Johnny.  Kicking off the CASH 80 birthday celebration – the singer would have hit that milestone on February 26, 2012 – Legacy Recordings is collecting 50 rare and unreleased performances as Bootleg Volume 3: Live Around the World, due on October 11.

These recordings, 39 of which have never been released before, capture a tireless musician with a social conscience.  Whether playing for the inmates of Sweden’s Osteraker Prison, the American troops stationed during an unpopular war in Vietnam, or even at the White House at the request of President Richard M. Nixon (an invite that’s easy to dismiss with irony today, but which speaks to Cash’s all-encompassing humanism and love of country), Cash gave his all.  There are other colors on display, too: the family man (The Carter Family Fold in 1976), the working recording artist (CBS Records’ 1973 convention) and the genre-blurring trailblazer (the 1964 Newport Folk Festival).  Bootleg 3 is a reminder of an artist who transcended and defied expectation and description. 

Hit the jump for more, including the full track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 17, 2011 at 13:08

You Can’t Stop Twisted Sister: Live Set Coming From Rhino Handmade

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Do you wanna rock?  Then the latest release from Rhino Handmade might just be for you!  Following stellar sets from the 1960s (The Beau Brummels’ Bradley’s Barn) and the 1970s (Bobby Charles’ self-titled album), the label jumps into the glam world of the 1980s with a vengeance!  Twisted Sister’s Live at the Marquee Club captures the Long Island band taking London by storm in March 1983.

At the time of the Marquee Club gigs, Twisted Sister had only released one studio album, 1982’s Under the Blade, and the breakthrough success of Stay Hungry (which introduced “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”) was still more than a year in the future.  But Live at the Marquee Club preserves the Dee Snider-fronted quintet at their most raw and powerful.  According to the label, “recordings from those legendary nights reveal the Long Island quintet raw, hungry and catching fire just a few months before it achieved breakout success on radio and MTV.”  The concert album features thirteen rare and unreleased performances from two March evenings on a single disc.  It features the quintessential line-up of Snider, guitarists Jay Jay French and Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda, bassist Mark “The Animal” Mendoza and drummer A.J. Pero.

Rhino continues: “Until now, the only way to hear bits and bobs of this historic two-night stand was through a series of 7” and 12” records released in 1983 exclusively in the U.K.  Live at the Marquee Club combines these hard-to-find cuts with five previously unreleased songs, including the title track from the band’s hard-rocking debut, Under the Blade, and covers of the Shangri-Las’ ‘Leader Of The Pack’ and the Slade version of the R&B staple ‘Let The Good Times Roll.’  The live album also includes the first ever public performance of ‘You Can’t Stop Rock ’n’ Roll,’ which would surface just three months later on the band’s second album. Snider’s legendary stage banter – also unreleased – can be heard interspersed between a few songs.”  And suffice to say you’ve never heard Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich’s classic death disc “Leader” quite like this before!

You can look forward to a creatively-designed package that reflects the band’s iconic logo in a striking way.  The disc is housed in a gatefold made from heavy-duty cardstock and die-cut into the shape of the Twisted Sister logo. Metal journalist Malcolm Dome contributes the new liner notes.  Live at the Marquee Club ships mid-September.  In addition, all pre-orders placed before 11:59 p.m. PST on September 18 will be automatically entered to win one of 50 copies signed by the entire band.

Hit the jump for the complete track listing plus pre-order link directly at Rhino Handmade.  Live at the Marquee Club arrives September 20 and retails for $19.98.  Are you gonna take it? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 17, 2011 at 11:59

Wounded Bird Helps “The Hawk” Take Flight Again

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It’s very possible that you might be enjoying Bobby Charles, reviewed yesterday in this very space!  But whether you’re grooving to Bobby or not, you might be interested in some more Band-related news!

Long before Rick Danko produced Bobby Charles’ Bearsville LP, Danko joined Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson in supporting the one and only Mr. Ronnie Hawkins as his Hawks.  Though colorful rockabilly legend Hawkins was born in Arkansas, he found his greatest success in Canada, where he assembled the Hawks line-up that would later become The Band.  (Helm was another transplanted Arkansan, while the other Band members hailed from our neighbor up north.)  That classic Hawks line-up left Hawkins in 1964 to explore new musical avenues, eventually backing Bob Dylan at the arguable peak of his career.  By 1970, The Band was firmly established, and Dylan was on his own, once more.  But the ripples of The Band’s early albums were felt throughout many quarters of the music industry.  The time was right for The Band’s mentor, the original Hawk, to soar once more.

The perfect complement to Rhino Handmade’s deluxe edition of Bobby Charles’ self-titled album might just be the two Ronnie Hawkins titles coming your way from Wounded Bird Records.  1970’s Ronnie Hawkins and its 1971 follow-up, The Hawk, were both originally released on Cotillion Records.  For each album, Hawkins collaborated with a famed group of musicians and proved that he could still fly on his own.  Wounded Bird drops these on October 18.

Hit the jump for more on both albums including full track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 17, 2011 at 10:05